Zitina Aokuso is the latest JCU Townsville Fire player eyeing gold to start this week’s winter update.
With the Under-19 World Cup to commence in Italy on Saturday, Australia has arrived in France to commence their preparations and have started with a bang following back-to-back victories over China and Canada.
The Gems shook off any jetlag concerns with a 64-51 over China before downing Canada 69-56 overnight.
In just under 20 minutes, Aokuso posted five points and eight rebounds.
In Guam, the Sapphires took care of business as Australia defeated New Zealand in the final of the Under-17 Oceania Championships to hand Claudia Brassard and Miela Goodchild a gold medal.
Having averaged a tournament-high 23 points, Goodchild was named in the tournament’s All*Star Five.
The Tall Ferns’ Asia Cup preparations continue to go from strength to strength with New Zealand clean sweeping their series against Singapore.
Following a first-up 80-55 win, the Tall Ferns flexed their muscles as they posted a 70-30 win in game two.
Dual Fire championship winner Micaela Cocks finished with 10 points in the victory.
In Newcastle, the Hunters’ faint play-off hopes are over despite 27 points and 24 rebounds from Suzy Batkovic.
While the Hunters recorded a 74-58 win over the Hills Hornets, they needed other results to fall their way ahead of this week’s final round, but a North Sydney victory was the final nail in their coffin.
Closer to home and the Townsville Flames have returned to the winners’ circle thanks to their Fire connection.
With Mackay missing Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast on international duties, the Meteorettes were no match for the Flames as they posted a 97-67 win with Darcee Garbin top-scoring with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Mia Murray added 18 points and six rebounds, while Haylee Andrews continued her rich vein of form with 15 points and three rebounds.
Finally, the Phoenix Mercury were downed 66-81 by Minnesota earlier today, with Cayla George collecting three rebounds.
With Brittney Griner sidelined for the next three to four weeks, George is expected to fill some of the whole left by the MVP contender.